Teaching Good Health Habits To Children

child-817373_960_720Most parents know about teaching their children about keeping clean and generally staying healthy. This is good and all children should have this grounding. But what about when a child is already sick? Are they taught how to take even rudimentary care for themselves and try to keep from spreading the disease?

This point tends to get left out of the equation. We caution our kids against playing around others who are sick, but not how they can help protect others when they are the one under the weather. Not to mention proper self-care. So let’s take a look at some points that children should be taught.

First, they need to know that rest is important as well as hydration. Though sleep can be difficult when one is sic, it is important to leave the body enough energy to fight off the illness. This means rest and hydration and food. The old saying of “starve a fever” has long-since been debunked, so teach kids to eat when sick to give their body energy.

Keeping away from others is another point. They should somewhat isolate themselves when sick. Sticking to their rooms, they lessen the chance of infecting others. They should also be taught to cover their mouth when coughing, to dispose of their tissues cleanly, and to avoid touching surfaces that others will contact.

Finally, they should know some basic remedies and handlings for common illnesses and symptoms. This way when they find themselves out on their own (and with no one to care for them) they can do at least some successful actions. Vitamins, foods and remedies all fall under this category, so teach your children to use them when necessary. There is also the point of how to treat and care for minor injuries. Keeping a medical bag in the home and showing your children how to properly use the contents can prepare them for emergencies.

When To Get Medical Care

question-mark-1872634_960_720For most people, feeling sick is a sign that it is time to go to the doctor. Even if it may only be the common cold, getting a quick checkup to ensure that it isn’t something more sinister is worth it. But there are those who honestly don’t have the money (or the insurance) to go and see a doctor over what may be nothing at all. So this will beg the question of when should one play it safe, vs being overly cautions.

This is a tough one to answer, and I’ll just come out and say that I’m not going to. But, here instead are my own personal thoughts on the matter, as I did grow up under less-than-affluent circumstances, and going to the doctor wasn’t always an option. In your own case, I would always advise one to go and seek medical treatment at the first sign of illness.

The first thing to consider is how bad do you feel? The common cold can make one feel lousy, but it is not the end of the world. Sure, a stuffy nose and some other symptoms, but it doesn’t usually incapacitate one. Severity of the symptoms is the key thing to look at. If you feel X, then how severe is X?

The next thing to consider is how long you have had the symptoms. If something just started, you may be fine putting of a doctor visit for a few days to see if it starts clearing up on its own. But if you have had prolonged symptoms, then you better get checked out as it may be coming from something other than the usual fare.

Finally, there is finances. If you live under meager means, then perhaps a $50 doctor visit is a big expense. There are always alternatives. Free clinics can provide some medical service, and there are ones that also don’t charge very much at all.

Again, I would always advise people to go to see a doctor at the first sign of trouble, just to be on the safe side. Doctors are trained to handle pretty much any kind of medical situation and know what symptoms mean what. They spend countless hours practicing their craft on manikins (like birthing simulators) and real people alike and are your best option for staying healthy. But if you are going to put the matter into your own hands, then be smart about it and keep an eye on your own symptoms and duration thereof.

Old Yet Useful Medical Tech

Medical training has been around for quite a while. Hundreds of years in fact. Most of the technology of yesteryear that was involved with the training of doctors has gone extinct (and in many cases this was a very good thing!). But there are still a few things that have endured and stood up to the test of time. Things like medical sketches and the dissection of cadavers all still play a part in modern medical training. But there is one thing in particular that I find incredibly fascinating.

And that is moulage. Moulage is the “art” of covering up a manikin or real person in makeup and other props to simulate various illnesses and injuries. This will allow doctors in training to see and actually interview “patients” who can describe their symptoms. That coupled with the makeup itself will allow them to make a diagnosis. This is a very important part of medical training and moulage kits are still widely used in this field.

Quality Of Medical Equipment

medical-instruments-424729_960_720Usually, when people think about the quality of the medical care they are to receive, they immediately think about the doctor. How good is he? Is he well trained? How much experience does he have in a particular field or with a particular illness? All of these will of course determine the overall quality of the care that the doctor in question will be able to give. But there is another element to consider.

Let’s look at this with an example. Suppose you have a carpenter who is a complete expert. He has worked on everything and has a proven record of getting beautiful results. Now, give him something to work on, but take all his tools away and replace them with blunt, low-quality instruments. He may yet be able to produce the piece desired, but it will certainly be of lower quality. The same applies to doctors.

In a private doctor’s office, that doctor is in charge of which supplies and equipment are used. If he is trying to save too much money by using only inferior medical equipment (like a second rate otoscope and opthalmoscope), then his product quality will suffer. This seems obvious, but how many times have you thought about this when at a doctor visit?

So how can one apply this in their life? Well, look at the office around you when you visit. Are the quarters old and dirty? Does the equipment look very over-used and dinged up? If yes, then chances are that your doctor may not be using the best possible equipment. If, however, your doctor’s office and area is clean, and things look fairly new, or at least well-maintained, then they are probably ensuring that they are using quality materials when working on their patients.

Observing Common Safety

industrial-1636403_960_720We tend to live pretty active lives. Even if we are so-called “desk jockeys”, we engage in physically dangerous activities every day. Whether it’s driving to work, or exercising, or physical hobbies, the potential for injury is always present. This doesn’t mean that one should give up everything that they do in an effort to keep safe (and live like some sort of bubble boy), but rather people should just observe common sense safety in order to avoid injury. After all, a little safety now can avoid all of the hassle and pain involved with getting injured.

So let’s take a look at how one can be a bit safer in day to day activities.

Driving is one of the ones that has the biggest potential for serious injury. So it is important that you wear your seat belt and observe speed laws. Keeping a sharp eye around you is also important, so if you’re not feeling all too well one day, best take an alternative method rather than drive yourself.

When exercising, it is important to warm up and stretch beforehand. Lots of sprains and pulled muscles can result from not doing so. Also, if you are using equipment, use it only as directed to avoid injury.

When engaging in physical hobbies, like skating, bike riding, climbing, etc, use your good judgement. Don’t attempt something that is probably too difficult for you or out of your skill level. Take your time and don’t let your pride get the better of you. You don’t want to end up on a stretcher because you wanted to show off or something.

So stay safe and healthy while you go about your life.

The Importance Of Training Under Realistic Conditions

paramedics-doll-1142284_960_720In any field, good training is important. Whether one is training to become an astronaut or a race car driver, the quality of that training will have an impact on the overall effectiveness and ability of the person afterward. Part of that training is putting the trainee in realistic situations so that they can practice real-world scenarios. Take astronaut training. Astronauts will practice procedures in pools to simulate low-gravity. So approximating real-life conditions is important. And in medical training, the same obviously applies.

However, in medicine one is faced with the challenge that not every doctor-to-be will have the opportunity during their schooling to encounter every type of illness or physical condition. So rather than leave that as an area that the student has only read about or seen in books, moulage and medical manikins exist.

Moulage is a form of makeup, where a live person or a dummy can be made to look like they have a certain disease or injury. Manikins are mock-ups of bodies (or parts thereof) that can be used to practice certain procedures. Take a Susie Simon manikin for example. It comes with a variety of realistic parts offering students a chance to practice and experience a wide range of medical procedures.

Other manikins exist that specialize in specific areas of the body, like dental or birthing manikins. Others still specialize in only one specific procedure. While they may be limited, they still offer an unparalleled level of realism for practice.

The better the medical training is, the better we can expect future doctors to be. So it makes good sense to invest in developing better tools for this endeavor. After all, everyone is going to have to see the doctor at some point, and when you do, you want them to be as competent as possible.

How To Help After An Accident

crash-1308575_960_720Auto accidents are a very common occurrence in this day and age. They claim more lives than any other type of domestic accident. So it is more than likely that every one of us will be involved in an accident in some way or form in the future. Whether as the one hit, or a bystander, it is important to know what to do to help those injured in any type of accident scenario.

The best thing to do would be to, of course, learn first aid. This will give you a good understanding of many basic medical procedures and devices you may need to use, like an Automated External Defibrillator, until paramedics arrive. These techniques can absolutely save lives and should be learned by all.

But if you don’t know first aid, there are still things that you can do. For starters, if the victim is not conscious and there is smoke or fire coming from the car, you need to get them out of there and to safety. If there is heavy bleeding, applying pressure to the wound is imperative to stop the person from bleeding out.

But there are also other aspects to this. The victim may be very distraught and simply being there to let them talk or explain what is happening can be quite beneficial. If the person panics, that can actually make bleeding worse, so keeping the patient calm is a must (it is also bad for the heart to stress out). Stay with them until the paramedics come and put them on a stretcher. They can take it from there afterwards.

If you witnessed the accident, then stick around to give your testimony to the authorities. This can ensure that those at fault get corrected and the innocent are protected.

Preparing For Extreme Trauma Situations

arabian-gulf-80359_960_720As medical professionals, doctors are expected to maintain their composure and analytical thinking, no matter the situation in front of them. They are expected to know what to do in an emergency situation, and help to stabilize the people caught up in it, and exert a calming and effective influence on those around them. Think about it. Imaging you were involved in a multi-car accident and there were many people injured. Someone rushing on the scene, claiming to be a doctor and immediately attending to the wounded would really help to calm people down.

But what about the doctor himself/herself? How does that individual prepare for these types of situations?

One might assume that doctors are used to seeing the “blood and guts” type of stuff. But let me assure you that there is a big difference in witnessing a controlled operation where a person has been carefully opened up, and seeing a trauma victim with innards exposed. It is just not the same thing at all.

Also, with the way the world is going, terrorist attacks are all too frequent, and you never know when one may occur, so medical professionals, even office doctors, need to be ready.

So what kind of training can prepare one for this type of grisly work? Well, there are trauma preparation activities that can be participated in. But one major ingredient is the use of a moulage kit.

Moulage consists of dressing up an actor with false wounds. These can be as simple as small cuts, to complex and gory like having broken bones exposed and other innards becoming visible. This type of reenactment can help to mentally prepare those who may be called upon to assist in times of crisis.

The training itself is important too, and there is also an element of chaos present in times of emergency.

The better prepared people are, the more lives can be saved.

Ways To Help The Handicapped

wheelchair-1595794_960_720Life for a handicapped person isn’t easy. They have to cope with performing the tasks of everyday living without certain parts. This may be a hand, leg, arm, or more. In any case, they experience more difficulty than average people with full bodies. This is why a great deal of technology and research goes into how to improve the quality of life for these men and women. Especially since many of them ended up in this situation while defending the rest of us.

The tech helping these people breaks down into a few different categories.

The first would be prosthetic limbs. These are things like artificial arms and legs. While artificial legs have come a long way (a paralympian with artificial legs can actually run faster than a typical person) hands are still a bit away. Hands require more dexterity and intricacy, and while they are advancing, they are still far from the capabilities of a regular human hand.

Next would be devices in the home designed to help with everyday tasks. One such example would be that of a stair chair. Other examples include tools to help reach things and devices designed to be operated single-handedly. These things help the disabled to perform their tasks with minimal effort.

The next is actually rehabilitation. Sometimes, there is a partial limp left over, and though damaged, is still useful. All the tools and artificial limbs in the world won’t help if there is no rehab. It’s not just the physical side of things, but also the mental. Some can feel utterly hopeless when found in a disabled state, and rehab helps to get the person willing to try again. It can be very beneficial when coached properly by someone who really wants to help their patient make it.

The Dangers Of Insufficient Sleep

full-moon-1016592_960_720We all know the feeling of wanting to stay up at night. Maybe you are on a great date that you wish could go on forever. Or maybe you are on an internet binge of interesting videos. Whatever the reason, you don’t want to rush into bed. While understandable, there are actually dangers associated with not sleeping enough.

One of them is your awareness level. When you are tired, you are not as aware of your surroundings as you should be. This can obviously lead to accidents if you are driving or operating machinery. Even simple tasks like cooking or office work are subject to mistakes when you are tired.

Another problem is that of general health. Your body utilizes the time you are sleeping to regenerate itself and take care of certain processes. If you don’t sleep enough, your body cannot maintain these functions and you are worse for wear.

So ensure that you allow yourself time to get enough sleep each night.

But what if getting enough sleep is difficult due to your work schedule or some other problem? What do you do then? Well, that would depend on the problem.

For a medical situation like sleep apnea, there are solutions like a CPAP device (you can find one here: https://wwemsequip.com/). For insomnia, certain sedatives can really help. You should consult with your doctor should there be some physical problem keeping you from sleeping enough each night.

If your schedule is preventing you from sleeping enough, then I would strongly urge you to make the necessary changes so that you can get enough sleep. Your life literally depends on it.

So take care and make the proper arrangements to sleep enough. One night of poor or no sleep won’t kill you, but many nights like that literally can!

Keeping Track Of Patient Information

clipboard-1276947_960_720When one usually thinks about running a hospital, they usually think of the technical aspects. That is to say, the delivery end. Caring for patients, giving treatment, procedures, etc. And while this is the most important aspect, there is another part of the whole machine that couldn’t be done without: administration.

Now I am not really talking about the billing and that sort of thing. Rather, I am referring to the keep track of the patients themselves. It really is an important part of the entire operation.

Think about it. If you are dealing with hundreds of patients at a time, then you need to know what each one needs, what each one may be allergic to, who is treating who, etc. Mix-ups in this area can be catastrophic. Imagine giving the wrong patient a certain medication. It may conflict with something else they are taking. It could also lead to not having the proper equipment to hand (like IVs or a stair chair https://wwemsequip.com/stair-chairs-c6056) People have actually died because of administrative errors.

So this is why it is important that the patients themselves are aware of their own basic information.

As a patient, you should keep track of:

  1. The name of your doctor and whoever else has been attending to you.
  2. The names of any drugs you are taking and what they are for.
  3. Anything you know that you allergic to or don’t do well with (from food to certain types of antibiotics).
  4. Any treatments you have had in the past.

Armed with this information, you can be a much more educated patient and can keep an eye out for yourself.

So how do you use his info? Well, for starters you can and should ask questions when anything non-routine is being done. For example, if your nurse is trying to give you a medication that you don’t normally take, speak up and ensure it is for you. Same goes for stopping any medication you have been taking regularly.

Keeping informed is a necessary means to ensuring you aren’t the victim of a clerical error.

The Importance of Medical Sterilization

In medicine, one of the biggest concerns there is is how to prevent the spread of germs and infections. This is actually one of the leading causes of death in surgery. Many times, a wound or injury itself doesn’t kill you, but rather the ensuing infection. So in a profession where you often will intentionally cut a person open, finding ways to keep germs from entering the body is paramount. This has lead to the use of modern sterilization.

Sterilization is the removing of bacteria and other microscopic life forms from a given tool or space. If one can successfully get rid of these micro-organisms, then the chance of them harming a patient is very slim. So there are actually quite a few different ways of going about doing this.

Aside of basic sterilization, there are other ways to keep germs away. Using disposable medical tools is another solution.

For more on how sterilization is done, check out this video:

Getting The Right Diagnosis

doctor-563429_960_720In medicine, it is crucial that doctors know exactly what they are dealing with in terms of illness or injury before proceeding to treat the patient. Most failed treatments actually stem from not knowing what really was wrong with the patient (misdiagnosis). So that would explain why most advances in medical technology are devoted to devices and methods of determining illnesses and conditions. The better and more accurate the diagnosis, the better chance the patient has.

When you walk into your doctor’s office, most of the things that you see around are used to diagnose. The stethoscope allows the doctor to hear your heart, the sphygmomanometer for checking blood pressure, the otoscope for looking into your ear, the opthalmoscope for checking your eyes, etc. All of that medical tech just devoted to diagnosis. This is to say nothing of the tech designed for treatment.

So how much tech is reserved for diagnosis? Well, aside from the above, there are a lot more devices:

  • X-rays for seeing bone structures
  • Cat scans for looking into the tissue of the brain and bones
  • Blood tests for determining a wide array of potential problems
  • Biopsy test for again checking into organic matters
  • Bodily fluid test (urine, saliva, etc) for checking into a plethora of areas
  • Eye exams for checking vision
  • Hearing tests for checking on the state of hearing

And there are many more.

So as you can see, one of the most important parts of the modern medical process is to correctly diagnose the patient. And a whole lot of technology has been created for doing just that. As time goes on, one can expect to see even more developments in this field, until we have something akin to the Star Trek doctor’s device which can perform a rapid diagnosis or virtually anything on the spot.

Staples of Medical Equipment

sphygmomanometer-915652_960_720As we look towards the future in terms of advances in medical technology, we also have to remember that we are where we are today thanks to some of the tried and true medical tech. There are devices that have been in use for decades, and which are still part of a doctor’s regular items even today. So let’s take a moment to reflect back at some of the staples of medical technology.

The Sphygmomanometer is the device that doctors use to measure your blood pressure. It consists of a cuff, pressure gauge and rubber pump. Invented in 1881, this device now comes in digital form, but it is still based off of the original design.

The Stethoscope is another major part of a doctor’s arsenal. In fact, without one, the traditional sphygmomanometer is virtually useless! This device has been with us since 1816 and has has a variety of forms. It is still the most recognized piece of medical equipment in existence and is inseparable from the medical image.

The Otoscope is another commonly used device. It allows a doctor to easily see inside a patient’s ear and is useful for locating and identifying infections. It has been a staple of doctor’s offices since 1838 and now can consist of a simple smartphone attachment.

An Opthalmoscope is similar, except it is used for inspecting the human eye. Invented in the mid 1800’s (lots of medical technology evolved in that century) it can be seen in offices and clinics everywhere. See one here: https://www.wwemsequip.com/otoscope-ophthalmoscope-kit-gu-opo-110-p82204.

Thanks to these medical technological breakthroughs, doctors can more easily diagnose and treat their patients. As technology continues to evolve, doctors will be able to gain even more insight into what’s happening inside the human body, but it will be thanks to the early devices that we will eventually have that technology.

Transporting The Elderly

stretcher-98579_960_720One of the trickiest parts about working with elderly patients is the actual transportation of them. Some patients are not in a good enough condition to walk easily, and others are bedridden completely. So it can be a bit trying to get them from point A to point B. So the right equipment is needed to safely move them.

Now, a stretcher or gurney is what usually comes to mind and these will work well enough in most situations. But what about if there are stairs to overcome? You won’t be able to use the aforementioned devices as you’ll have to have it at such a steep angle that you risk the patient sliding right off without very tight restraints. You also risk injuring yourself trying to hold and maneuver it. Even though people who cannot move around with ease shouldn’t live somewhere where there is no elevator access, it still happens from time to time.

The solution is a device called a stair chair. Stair chairs look a bit like a regular chair, but have strategically placed sets of handled on the front and back. They are so placed so that two people working together can easily move someone up or down a flight of stairs. This isn’t only useful for the elderly. These are also vital in times of evacuation. And normally able-bodied person unable to move (or just unconscious) who is trapped on an upper floor could be transported with such a device.

By using a stair chair, you reduce the risk of injury to not only the patient, but also the person(s) doing the lifting.

Making Manikins Lifelike

manikin 1In our previous article, we briefly touched upon the history of medical manikins. We saw how they have been a staple of medical training for hundreds of years, and how they continue to be an important part of medical schooling even today. But now let’s look at some of what makes today’s manikins as lifelike as they are.

First of all, they look quite real. Realistic molding and features like eyes and hair ass a sense of realism to the overall experience. Everything down to skin tone is through with in terms of appearance.

There is also the aspect of touch. While some manikins are still hard plastic, others have a more lifelike texture and feel to them. Especially ones that have complete sets of internal organs. This allows for some sort of familiarity with the outside and inside of a human body. This adds to the confidence of young doctors as they have some experience with how a human being feels inside and out.

There are also specialty manikins that are only used for specific training. For example, there are childbirth manikins that only include the needed parts for that specific procedure. Because these manikins only include the necessary parts for a particular procedure, they can be made lifelike and inexpensive (relatively). There are specialty manikins for lots of things, like CPR manikins, prostate manikins, choking manikins, etc. These allow for greater training efficiency and effectiveness.

So as you can tell, the future of medical training looks bright thanks to these devices. And the future holds even more advanced training devices just waiting to be developed and put into good use.

 

The History of Medical Manikins

manikinThroughout history, there have always been two technologies that have developed faster than others. Those are of course the technologies of war, and of medicine. Though sometimes opposed and other times hand-in-hand, more time and energy have gone into getting these types of tech as far advanced as possible. For our interests, we’ll be looking at the medical side of this technological advancement. Specifically, the use of medical manikins in medical training.

Obviously, a subject is only as good as people can be trained in it. This is one of the reason that mysticism and the like remain esoteric and out of the general public eye. It’s impossible to teach someone how to work with it. So medical training techniques are very important. Training good doctors can’t be dependent upon some natural bent or inherent gift. It must be teachable.

So medical manikins were a way of getting people familiar with the human body and its systems. The started off as wax models of the human form, and various internals. Organs, bones, etc all were molded in clay or wax and colored so that medical students could see and (to a degree) feel these parts. After all, there wasn’t always a fresh cadaver around to work with.

Nowadays, these manikins are state-of-the-art. They are made from materials that not only mimic the human body in color, but also in texture. They vary, with some designed only for a specific use and therefore only containing certain parts of the body, like a CPR manikin or a birthing manikin, while others are full-blown replicas of the complete human anatomy and all of its systems. They yet remain an invaluable tool in the training of medical doctors and are found in all levels of medical training.

The Future Of Medical Training

technik-hintergrundExcellent medical training is always something that is constantly being sought after in the field of making doctors. After all, the more effective your methods are, the better the doctors you’ll produce. And having good doctors is something that everyone needs. So that’s why if you took a look at the history of medical training, you’d see that there have been advancements all throughout the years. But what’s even more interesting is where medical training is heading in the near future.

Back in days of old, if you wanted to see inside a human body, you either had to rely on the sketches of other doctors, or happen to have a cadaver ready. Now, obviously there are photographs, but also anatomical models that can be handled and practices on. While these models are good in that they can be physically manipulated and many even have accurate feel and textures, they usually only depict a healthy body. With virtual reality, the human body can be shown in any condition and represented in a wide variety of states and pathologies.

Virtual reality also allows a student to see a surgery being performed from the viewpoint of the doctor performing it. This would allow for a complete walkthrough of a particular procedure being viewed from the first person perspective.

Another upcoming advancement is that of rapid inclusion into curriculum. As we live in an information and communication-dominated age, when advancements occur in the medical field, they can be immediately implemented into standard curriculum. This means that even new doctors will be completely up-to-date on the latest techniques, treatments and procedures.

The future does indeed look bright for tomorrow’s medical students. And even brighter for their patients. As technology continues to improve, know that it will constantly mean better and better training for the doctors of tomorrow.